We just finished one election, so let's start another. This one has nothing to do with higher office. This is political football, the way a sport picks a champion — or at least one to play in the title game.
Mack Brown and Bob Stoops started their lobbying efforts in full on Monday. Brown, whose team is clinging to the No. 2 spot in the Bowl Championship Series standings, was asked his opinion about the USA Today coaches poll — one-third of the BCS formula — that had the Sooners ranked ahead of the Longhorns despite Texas' 45-35 victory against Oklahoma on a neutral field on Oct. 11.
"I think the coaches will come to light this weekend. I really worry that coaches don't pay too much attention to [voting]. We didn't play this weekend. They're sitting there, getting on their planes, saw a score and said, 'Wow, let's do this,' " Brown said of the reaction to Oklahoma's 65-21 victory over then No. 2 Texas Tech. "That's why I don't like the BCS. If we had a playoff right now, would it not be great to have the top eight teams? There will be more than us and Oklahoma that will be left out if we both win."
The message is clear: Take Texas and give the 35 points against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day. The Longhorns are going to do everything in their power to run up a big number on the Aggies in the nationally televised game.
Stoops brought a third team into this love triangle. "If you can’t put us in front of Texas [because of the head-to-head result], if that’s your logic, then you have to keep Texas Tech in front of Texas," he said. "If it’s logical for one, it has to be logical for the other."
Stoops has a friend in Crazy Mike Leach, his former offensive coordinator.
"We think quite a bit of Oklahoma and the Big 12," the Texas Tech coach said. "Our experience with that is Oklahoma beat us, Texas did not, so Oklahoma goes above [Texas]. And then we like the Big 12 better than the SEC, and plus Oklahoma’s impressed me this year more than Alabama, so Oklahoma's at the top."
Stoops, who turned down an opportunity to vote in the coaches' poll (Brown and Leach have votes), was asked if he regrets that decision. "Probably," he said.
Each side is employing all means necessary in this high-stakes battle. A member of Texas' sports information staff was sending text messages to sportswriters late Saturday reminding them that the Longhorns had beaten Oklahoma and Missouri by double digits last month. Some Texas students have started a Facebook page titled, "Texas did beat OU 45-35, lest we forget." It has over 4,200 members at the time of this post. Longhorn fans at Shaggy Bevo are attempting to raise money for an airplane flyover with a pro-Texas banner on Saturday morning in Stillwater.